each summer i wear my way through a pair of sandals i had blue ones when i went to maine with my boyfriend's family. august after graduation. i wore a lace b-cup bra. i bought two pairs of pajamas for the trip. i thought i was a woman. street gravel stuck to shoe bottoms & fog gushed from the ocean. in town there were all kinds of galleries. as we walked, my boy friends's hand made a purse of me. a potter & a portrait maker & then the hat pin carver. he etched little tabs of ivory, old piano keys. i bought three despite not having any hats. i pinned one to the strap of my dress & the metal grazed against my skin. my boyfriend stuck one in his curly hair. on the rocky beach, i nearly tripped every day. my flipflops made gripping the huge rocks nearly impossible. often i gave up, & just set the shoes by the side of the road before the beach. anyone could have taken them & then i would have had no shoes at all. we harvested sea glass & all week we looked for a shard of blue. found clear & auburn & yellow. no blue. went back to the hat pin maker & he told us a story of how he saw the whole universe's alphabet one night while walking on the rocky beach. august august august. on the last day the strap popped off my shoe. my boyfriend said, "i'll he'd carry you home." i replied "i'll walk barefoot." i have been told in workshops, it is good to refer to people by their names & not just relationships like "brother" or "boyfriend." i am calling him "boyfriend" so you can see more than i do. this poem is just about summer & feet. we took a little boat ride to the other side of the canal where canada waited. the town was tired & full of worn wood & dilapidated storefronts. on the ride back i took my shoes off (this was before they snapped) & i thought about my ankles. nothingt matters but august. he kissed my shoulder & then my neck. the boat dipped & ripples spread out all around us. tiny little row boat. i said, "we should keep going."